BRADLEY SMOKER | "Taste the Great Outdoors"

Smoking Techniques => Sausage Making => Topic started by: KevinG on December 22, 2010, 06:23:55 pm

Title: Sausage Making A to Z
Post by: KevinG on December 22, 2010, 06:23:55 pm
A lot of people seem to be scared to take the plunge and make sausage. It's really not that hard, and I'll show you the steps to make an easy Italian Sausage. There is more than one way to make sausage, so just relax and read and you can change things as you feel necessary for your way of doing it. Be careful with freezing your parts as indicated below, some grinders can break so you may just want to refrigerate your parts, wrap with a cold wrap, or not get them cold at all. As with all instructions, use your better judgment - if it doesn't seem right, investigate and change as needed.

I don't have a sausage stuffer, but my grinder will double as a stuffer - it's a Cabelas 1Hp Model #22. I bought a LEM footswitch which makes stuffing and grinding by myself a whole lot easier because the machine will only run if the pedal is pressed.

Here's a picture of a similar grinder that I'll be using.
(http://i813.photobucket.com/albums/zz53/63KevinG/Bradley%20Sausage/Sausage%20Making%20Instructions/MyGrinder.jpg)

Here's the foot switch I bought to attach to my grinder.
(http://i813.photobucket.com/albums/zz53/63KevinG/Bradley%20Sausage/Sausage%20Making%20Instructions/GrinderFootSwitch.jpg)

I also own a manual grinder/stuffer and a manual stuffer. I don't recommend either unless you want to paint yourself green and double as the Incredible Hulk when you're done or pick up a pipe and prance around like Popeye. It will work however, and I have made many sausages using both the manual grinder/stuffer and the manual stuffer pictured below.

Here's the manual grinder assembly.
(http://i813.photobucket.com/albums/zz53/63KevinG/Bradley%20Sausage/Sausage%20Making%20Instructions/ManualGrinder.jpg)

Here's the manual grinder converted to a sausage stuffer. Grinding and stuffing is a difficult chore with this tool used either as a grinder or stuffer when you're doing it by yourself.
(http://i813.photobucket.com/albums/zz53/63KevinG/Bradley%20Sausage/Sausage%20Making%20Instructions/ManualGrinderasStuffer.jpg)

Here's a manual stuffer - I don't recommend this either because the sausage wants to ooze out of the top every time you plunge. It is also very difficult to run this by yourself. Another thing to watch out for when using this is that when loading the sausage, you have to be careful the arm doesn't fall forward and break the plastic funnel. The replacement funnels for these are hard to find because they are an odd size.
(http://i813.photobucket.com/albums/zz53/63KevinG/Bradley%20Sausage/Sausage%20Making%20Instructions/ManualStuffer.jpg)

Obviously your first decision in sausage making is to pick your seasonings and meat. For meat I'm using 15 lbs of pork butt which is a relatively small amount. The seasoning kit I buy is from Hi Mountain and it has enough for 30 lbs. If you're going to do venison, most people do an 80% venison to 20% pork butt, some do 70% / 30%, when I do mine I actually reverse the numbers and do 80% pork butt to 20% venison because my deer here are really small (less than 100lbs usually).

So after the meat and kit is purchased, you have to get your tools ready. Clean and sterilize everything that the meat will contact (including yourself) and keep it that way.

Besides your smoker and bisquettes, grinder, stuffer and their equipment, you'll need eating utensils, a frying pan (to test a piece of your sausage), cooking oil (spray type), stove, refrigerator/freezer, knives, a pair of scissors, a few meat tubs, measuring containers, containers for mixing cure with water, containers for soaking your casings and containers for chilling your sausage when done, ice, a needle (for air pockets in the sausage), a cutting board, a scale to weigh your meat, and possibly another to weigh your ingredients if you're not making a full batch. You'll also need some plastic wrap, butcher paper and tape (or vacuum sealer and bags), a marking pen for labeling your packages, pencil and paper for math, temperature probes/timers, access to clean running water, paper towels, and finally salt for your left over casings if you should have some.
(http://i813.photobucket.com/albums/zz53/63KevinG/Bradley%20Sausage/Sausage%20Making%20Instructions/CuttingPrep.jpg)

I put my grinder’s parts in the freezer to help keep the meat cold while working on it. I pretty much put everything in the freezer except the electronic parts. The tray, head, plate, blade, front ring nut, and auger all go in the freezer. (Note: Some models of grinders use cheap metal which may strip the gears or break housings if the parts are frozen so use this step with caution). Always work with cold meat, if it starts to warm up, place it in the freezer for a few minutes to get a good chill back into it.

Next is to get out your meat, it usually cuts a little better if it's really cold (not frozen but as close as you can get).
(http://i813.photobucket.com/albums/zz53/63KevinG/Bradley%20Sausage/Sausage%20Making%20Instructions/15lbsofPorkButt.jpg)

Don't forget to remove the gland because it might impart a bad taste into your sausage.
(http://i813.photobucket.com/albums/zz53/63KevinG/Bradley%20Sausage/Sausage%20Making%20Instructions/ButtGland.jpg)

You will need to cut up your meat, I do it in one inch cubes, some people do 1 inch strips. Whatever you decide, follow your grinders instructions and try to make it easy on yourself and your grinder.
(http://i813.photobucket.com/albums/zz53/63KevinG/Bradley%20Sausage/Sausage%20Making%20Instructions/oneinchchunks.jpg)

Be careful when cutting up the meat so you don't ruin your knives. There is a bone in the pork butt and it's kind of weird shaped, here are 3 views. It's hard to get the meat out without knowing what the bone looks like.

See how the bone curves, there's a lot of good meat hidden in there.
(http://i813.photobucket.com/albums/zz53/63KevinG/Bradley%20Sausage/Sausage%20Making%20Instructions/buttbone1.jpg)

The back is pretty flat.
(http://i813.photobucket.com/albums/zz53/63KevinG/Bradley%20Sausage/Sausage%20Making%20Instructions/buttbone2.jpg)

Another view.
(http://i813.photobucket.com/albums/zz53/63KevinG/Bradley%20Sausage/Sausage%20Making%20Instructions/buttbone3.jpg)

Next is to get your grinder ready to accept the chilled parts you put in the freezer. Here is the head where you'll put in the auger.
(http://i813.photobucket.com/albums/zz53/63KevinG/Bradley%20Sausage/Sausage%20Making%20Instructions/Readytoloadauger.jpg)

Here's how you load the auger, put the gear in towards the rear.
(http://i813.photobucket.com/albums/zz53/63KevinG/Bradley%20Sausage/Sausage%20Making%20Instructions/Loadingauger1.jpg)

Next is to install the blade on the square end, make sure the cutting edge faces out towards where the grinding plate will go next.
(http://i813.photobucket.com/albums/zz53/63KevinG/Bradley%20Sausage/Sausage%20Making%20Instructions/LoadingGrindingBlade.jpg)

Now install the grinding plate. Grinding plate size can depend on your recipe or personal preference. I'm using a 7mm plate for both grinds. Some recipes will use a 4.5mm or 10mm size. Some recipes even will grind half a batch in one size (4.5mm) and the other half in another size (10mm), and then mix the two together. The American equivalents are approximately 1/8", 1/4", and 1/2". All the plate does is change the texture of the sausage when you bite. A smaller hole plate makes a more compact sausage, where a larger hole plate makes it a more crumbly sausage.
(http://i813.photobucket.com/albums/zz53/63KevinG/Bradley%20Sausage/Sausage%20Making%20Instructions/LoadingGrindingPlate.jpg)

Here's what the front ring nut looks like, it will go on next.
(http://i813.photobucket.com/albums/zz53/63KevinG/Bradley%20Sausage/Sausage%20Making%20Instructions/FrontRingNut-1.jpg)

The front ring nut installed.
(http://i813.photobucket.com/albums/zz53/63KevinG/Bradley%20Sausage/Sausage%20Making%20Instructions/AttachingFrontRingNut.jpg)


Now you need to load the tray with your meat so you'll be ready to grind.
(http://i813.photobucket.com/albums/zz53/63KevinG/Bradley%20Sausage/Sausage%20Making%20Instructions/ReadytoGrind.jpg)

Here's the grinder in action.
(http://i813.photobucket.com/albums/zz53/63KevinG/Bradley%20Sausage/Sausage%20Making%20Instructions/grinding.jpg)

And here's the pile of ground up meat caught in a meat tub. These meat tubs are real handy. I usually keep one or two filled with ice to help keep the meat cold while grinding or stuffing, I'll place one meat tub below and one meat tub above the meat tub I'm working on if I'm going to be working on it a long time.
(http://i813.photobucket.com/albums/zz53/63KevinG/Bradley%20Sausage/Sausage%20Making%20Instructions/GroundUp.jpg)

This is the Hi Mountain Italian Sausage Kit we'll be using today.
(http://i813.photobucket.com/albums/zz53/63KevinG/Bradley%20Sausage/Sausage%20Making%20Instructions/Himountainkit.jpg)

It comes with the following:

Instructions.
(http://i813.photobucket.com/albums/zz53/63KevinG/Bradley%20Sausage/Sausage%20Making%20Instructions/Instructions.jpg)

Seasoning.
(http://i813.photobucket.com/albums/zz53/63KevinG/Bradley%20Sausage/Sausage%20Making%20Instructions/Seasoning.jpg)

Cure.
(http://i813.photobucket.com/albums/zz53/63KevinG/Bradley%20Sausage/Sausage%20Making%20Instructions/cure.jpg)

Hog Casings.
(http://i813.photobucket.com/albums/zz53/63KevinG/Bradley%20Sausage/Sausage%20Making%20Instructions/HogCasings.jpg)

When you take the hog casings out of the bag, they will be loaded with salt.
(http://i813.photobucket.com/albums/zz53/63KevinG/Bradley%20Sausage/Sausage%20Making%20Instructions/Hogcasingsnobag.jpg)

You'll need to soak the hog casings in water for about an hour before you use them.
(http://i813.photobucket.com/albums/zz53/63KevinG/Bradley%20Sausage/Sausage%20Making%20Instructions/Hogcasingssoaking.jpg)

Since I'm making a partial batch, I'll need to measure out the cure. Start by zeroing out the scale.
(http://i813.photobucket.com/albums/zz53/63KevinG/Bradley%20Sausage/Sausage%20Making%20Instructions/zerodscale.jpg)

Then weigh the cure.
(http://i813.photobucket.com/albums/zz53/63KevinG/Bradley%20Sausage/Sausage%20Making%20Instructions/weighedcure.jpg)

Then do the math for how much you're making. Mine is easy, I only need half.
(http://i813.photobucket.com/albums/zz53/63KevinG/Bradley%20Sausage/Sausage%20Making%20Instructions/TheMath.jpg)

Now get a receptacle to put the cure in and zero the scale with it on it.
(http://i813.photobucket.com/albums/zz53/63KevinG/Bradley%20Sausage/Sausage%20Making%20Instructions/zerodcup.jpg)

Pour the cure into the receptacle per the math you did.
(http://i813.photobucket.com/albums/zz53/63KevinG/Bradley%20Sausage/Sausage%20Making%20Instructions/measuredcure.jpg)

You'll need to measure some water to mix the cure and seasoning in. This will help distribute it more evenly throughout the meat.
(http://i813.photobucket.com/albums/zz53/63KevinG/Bradley%20Sausage/Sausage%20Making%20Instructions/Waterforcureandseasoning.jpg)

Add the measured cure to the measured water.
(http://i813.photobucket.com/albums/zz53/63KevinG/Bradley%20Sausage/Sausage%20Making%20Instructions/addingcuretowater.jpg)

Add the seasoning (you may need to measure this too, mine is easy for half a batch I only need one packet).
(http://i813.photobucket.com/albums/zz53/63KevinG/Bradley%20Sausage/Sausage%20Making%20Instructions/addingseasoningtowater.jpg)

Shake the mixture well to dissolve all the salt that's in the cure.
(http://i813.photobucket.com/albums/zz53/63KevinG/Bradley%20Sausage/Sausage%20Making%20Instructions/mixedcureseasoningandwater.jpg)

Now add the mixture to the meat. Pour it all over to distribute it as evenly as possible.
(http://i813.photobucket.com/albums/zz53/63KevinG/Bradley%20Sausage/Sausage%20Making%20Instructions/addingseasoningcureandwatertomeat.jpg)

Mix the meat well, try to make sure that all the seasoning and cure is worked in well throughout the meat mixture.
(http://i813.photobucket.com/albums/zz53/63KevinG/Bradley%20Sausage/Sausage%20Making%20Instructions/Meatmixedafterseasoning.jpg)

Run it through the grinder again (this will help distribute the seasoning more). You may need to clean out your grinder before doing this if you have a build up of sinew. Sometimes it wraps itself up around the end of the auger and clogs up the holes in the grinding plate.
(http://i813.photobucket.com/albums/zz53/63KevinG/Bradley%20Sausage/Sausage%20Making%20Instructions/grinding.jpg)

Now is a good time to test out your mixture to see if you need to add anything. So fry up a sample.
(http://i813.photobucket.com/albums/zz53/63KevinG/Bradley%20Sausage/Sausage%20Making%20Instructions/fryingupasample.jpg)

I was hungry, so I made a meal out of my sample.
(http://i813.photobucket.com/albums/zz53/63KevinG/Bradley%20Sausage/Sausage%20Making%20Instructions/testpattiesdone.jpg)

Now you'll need to disassemble your grinder and get ready to turn it into a stuffer. It's a good idea to keep the meat cold so put it in the freezer for a short time while you get your grinder/stuffer ready. On the grinder, clean out any chunks of meat or sinew, wash the parts, dry them and chill them in the freezer again to get them to keep the meat cold while working. Here we are ready to start reassembling.

We need to load the auger again (make sure the gear is towards the rear).
(http://i813.photobucket.com/albums/zz53/63KevinG/Bradley%20Sausage/Sausage%20Making%20Instructions/LoadingAuger.jpg)

Here is the stuffing star.
(http://i813.photobucket.com/albums/zz53/63KevinG/Bradley%20Sausage/Sausage%20Making%20Instructions/StuffingStar.jpg)

Install the stuffing star onto the auger.
(http://i813.photobucket.com/albums/zz53/63KevinG/Bradley%20Sausage/Sausage%20Making%20Instructions/LoadingStuffingStar.jpg)

Picking a stuffing horn or funnel can be a tough choice, but generally you can use the following as a guideline - it's not set in stone, you can usually get by with fewer funnels.

Use this chart if you process with a STRAIGHT stuffing horn.
 
Sausage Casings Size: Stuffing Horn Size
(Outside Diameter):
16mm3/8"
19mm7/16" or 10mm
21mm7/16"
23mm1/2"
28mm9/16"
30mm9/16"
32mm9/16"
35mm3/4"


Use this chart if you process with a TAPERED stuffing horn.
 
Sausage Casings Size: Sausage Casings Type: Stuffing Horn Size
(outside diameter):
21mm & 23mmcollagen casings1/2"
22m - 24mmsheep casings1/2"
28mm, 30mm, 32mm & largercollagen casings1/2"
32mm - 35mm & largerhog casings3/4"

*only about 3 feet of casings will fit onto the tapered horn


I'll be using the 20mm funnel and flange for my casings.
(http://i813.photobucket.com/albums/zz53/63KevinG/Bradley%20Sausage/Sausage%20Making%20Instructions/20mmfunnelandflange.jpg)

You need to put the funnel into the flange and press it together so it stays connected as one unit.
(http://i813.photobucket.com/albums/zz53/63KevinG/Bradley%20Sausage/Sausage%20Making%20Instructions/funnelandflangeattached.jpg)

Now you need to put the assembly into the front ring nut.
(http://i813.photobucket.com/albums/zz53/63KevinG/Bradley%20Sausage/Sausage%20Making%20Instructions/Flangeandfunnelinringnut.jpg)

Install that entire assembly onto the grinder/stuffer.
(http://i813.photobucket.com/albums/zz53/63KevinG/Bradley%20Sausage/Sausage%20Making%20Instructions/Stuffingassyattached.jpg)

Load your sausage onto the tray.
(http://i813.photobucket.com/albums/zz53/63KevinG/Bradley%20Sausage/Sausage%20Making%20Instructions/sausageloadedandreadytostuff.jpg)

It's best to fill the horn with meat before you put on the casing, this way the funnel won't go back into the head when trying to put the casing on the horn.
(http://i813.photobucket.com/albums/zz53/63KevinG/Bradley%20Sausage/Sausage%20Making%20Instructions/fillinghorn.jpg)

Now get a casing, they are usually pretty tangled, so be easy when trying to pull apart. Sometimes the ends are not square, so you might need to cut with a pair of scissors to make the next steps easier.
(http://i813.photobucket.com/albums/zz53/63KevinG/Bradley%20Sausage/Sausage%20Making%20Instructions/cuttingcasingifnotsquare.jpg)

You need to flush out the casing with water to remove the salt. Don't use too much pressure or you'll blow out the casing, they are pretty twisted sometimes.
(http://i813.photobucket.com/albums/zz53/63KevinG/Bradley%20Sausage/Sausage%20Making%20Instructions/flushingcasing.jpg)

Next you need to put the flushed casing on the horn. This is easier if you put a little water in the casing and leave it in there while you work it onto the horn.
(http://i813.photobucket.com/albums/zz53/63KevinG/Bradley%20Sausage/Sausage%20Making%20Instructions/puttingcasingonhorn.jpg)

Here's the casing on the horn. After letting the remaining water out, twist the end so the sausage won’t leak out while stuffing.
(http://i813.photobucket.com/albums/zz53/63KevinG/Bradley%20Sausage/Sausage%20Making%20Instructions/casingonhornandtwisted.jpg)

Start stuffing your sausage. Try to fill the casing as hard as you can without breaking it, otherwise it will turn out tough and chewy, also try not to have any air pockets because this will be a place where grease will collect while cooking. If you happen to get an air pocket after the sausage is stuffed, you can prick it with a needle to minimize the problem.
(http://i813.photobucket.com/albums/zz53/63KevinG/Bradley%20Sausage/Sausage%20Making%20Instructions/sausagestartingtostuff.jpg)

Here we're at the end of the casing. It's best to leave a little casing to twist shut so your sausage won't leak while smoking.
(http://i813.photobucket.com/albums/zz53/63KevinG/Bradley%20Sausage/Sausage%20Making%20Instructions/Sausageatendofrun.jpg)

Here's your roll of sausage ready for an overnight stay in the fridge. Continue with the remaining material until you’re done.
(http://i813.photobucket.com/albums/zz53/63KevinG/Bradley%20Sausage/Sausage%20Making%20Instructions/sausagestuffedreadyforfridge.jpg)

OK you're going along fine than all of a sudden - BLAM a blowout - don't fret it happens to all of us at one point or another. I've found it's usually because the casing is too far back on the horn and the sausage tries to rip it forward, but there are other reasons as well.
(http://i813.photobucket.com/albums/zz53/63KevinG/Bradley%20Sausage/Sausage%20Making%20Instructions/blowout.jpg)

Fixing a blowout isn't that hard. You need to pinch the sausage back at an area where the casing is in tact and work it down so that there is no meat in the pinched section.
(http://i813.photobucket.com/albums/zz53/63KevinG/Bradley%20Sausage/Sausage%20Making%20Instructions/pinchingblowout.jpg)

Next, get a pair of scissors and cut the pinched area leaving enough casing for you to twist on the filled end.
(http://i813.photobucket.com/albums/zz53/63KevinG/Bradley%20Sausage/Sausage%20Making%20Instructions/cuttingpinchedblowout.jpg)

After cutting, squeeze out the sausage in the broken part and put back into the tray. Cut the broken section of casing off, and pull the casing away from the horn and twist to start stuffing again.

So now we're done with the stuffing, but I've got casings left over. What should I do? Well just dry them off on a paper towel.
(http://i813.photobucket.com/albums/zz53/63KevinG/Bradley%20Sausage/Sausage%20Making%20Instructions/dryingcasings.jpg)

Put some salt on the casings and store back in the original bag. Try to only use as much salt as you noticed when you pulled the casings out originally. Store them in the fridge until they are needed again.
(http://i813.photobucket.com/albums/zz53/63KevinG/Bradley%20Sausage/Sausage%20Making%20Instructions/saltingcasings.jpg)

The meat's been in the fridge overnight and we're ready to smoke. First thing is pull out your racks and V pan tray and give them a coat of oil to prevent sticking.
(http://i813.photobucket.com/albums/zz53/63KevinG/Bradley%20Sausage/Sausage%20Making%20Instructions/SprayracksandVpan.jpg)

Put the sausage on the racks. They'll need to warm up for about an hour before we start smoking/cooking. Try to make sure the sausage doesn't touch itself because the smoke won't adhere to that area if it does.
(http://i813.photobucket.com/albums/zz53/63KevinG/Bradley%20Sausage/Sausage%20Making%20Instructions/Sausageonrack.jpg)

Now is a good time to get your timers and temperature tools out and set them up. I start with a reasonably low temp for my cabinet set point temp that wont alarm right away. This can be changed later after it's hot.
(http://i813.photobucket.com/albums/zz53/63KevinG/Bradley%20Sausage/Sausage%20Making%20Instructions/LowTempSetting.jpg)

Next is the cabinet overtemp.
(http://i813.photobucket.com/albums/zz53/63KevinG/Bradley%20Sausage/Sausage%20Making%20Instructions/HiTempSetting.jpg)

Now the sausage final IT setting.
(http://i813.photobucket.com/albums/zz53/63KevinG/Bradley%20Sausage/Sausage%20Making%20Instructions/ET73for156.jpg)

I'll be using both my ET73 and ET7 so here's that one set up too.
(http://i813.photobucket.com/albums/zz53/63KevinG/Bradley%20Sausage/Sausage%20Making%20Instructions/ET7for156.jpg)

You need to warm up the smoker for about an hour before we start, so I set the timer for that.
(http://i813.photobucket.com/albums/zz53/63KevinG/Bradley%20Sausage/Sausage%20Making%20Instructions/SettingMaverickTimer.jpg)

I put water in the pan to catch the bisquettes and any drippings.
(http://i813.photobucket.com/albums/zz53/63KevinG/Bradley%20Sausage/Sausage%20Making%20Instructions/WaterinPan.jpg)

Here's the water pan installed in the Bradley. I keep foil covered bricks in my Bradley to help with heat retention when opening the door for rack rotation.
(http://i813.photobucket.com/albums/zz53/63KevinG/Bradley%20Sausage/Sausage%20Making%20Instructions/WaterPaninBradley.jpg)

I put the middle rack in. This is where I'll be monitoring the cabinet temperature.
(http://i813.photobucket.com/albums/zz53/63KevinG/Bradley%20Sausage/Sausage%20Making%20Instructions/MaverickPlacement.jpg)

Time to load up some bisquettes. I'll be using 2 hours and 40 minutes of Jim Beam. I also have my 3 bubba pucks on.
(http://i813.photobucket.com/albums/zz53/63KevinG/Bradley%20Sausage/Sausage%20Making%20Instructions/BisquettesLoaded.jpg)

Turn the oven on and set the timer. I put this to the max time.
(http://i813.photobucket.com/albums/zz53/63KevinG/Bradley%20Sausage/Sausage%20Making%20Instructions/SettingOvenTimer.jpg)

Set the oven temperature to 120° F for the first part.
(http://i813.photobucket.com/albums/zz53/63KevinG/Bradley%20Sausage/Sausage%20Making%20Instructions/SettingOvenTemperature.jpg)

You use these up down arrows for any time or temperature adjustments.
(http://i813.photobucket.com/albums/zz53/63KevinG/Bradley%20Sausage/Sausage%20Making%20Instructions/UpDownArrows.jpg)

Now we preheat while our sausage is getting ready. Don't put the temperature probes other than the cabinet probe in the smoker, that way they won't get hot on you.
(http://i813.photobucket.com/albums/zz53/63KevinG/Bradley%20Sausage/Sausage%20Making%20Instructions/PreheatBradley.jpg)

The hour of preheat and sausage warm up is done. Go ahead and load up the Bradley with your sausage. Make sure to put the temperature probes in the meat.
(http://i813.photobucket.com/albums/zz53/63KevinG/Bradley%20Sausage/Sausage%20Making%20Instructions/LoadingSausageInBradley.jpg)

We will be warming the meat at 120° F for 1 hour without smoke, so set your timer. This removes some of the moisture and helps the smoke stick better.
(http://i813.photobucket.com/albums/zz53/63KevinG/Bradley%20Sausage/Sausage%20Making%20Instructions/SettingMaverickTimer.jpg)

During this time about half way through, turn on the smoke generator to get it warmed up. Don't advance the pucks they will start at just the right time.
(http://i813.photobucket.com/albums/zz53/63KevinG/Bradley%20Sausage/Sausage%20Making%20Instructions/TurningOnSmokeGenerator.jpg)

Set the smoke timer to account for the bisquettes and the empty space in front of them, also the bubba pucks afterwards.
(http://i813.photobucket.com/albums/zz53/63KevinG/Bradley%20Sausage/Sausage%20Making%20Instructions/SettingSmokeTimer.jpg)

After the hour, we change the oven temp to 160° F.
(http://i813.photobucket.com/albums/zz53/63KevinG/Bradley%20Sausage/Sausage%20Making%20Instructions/ChangingOvenTempto160.jpg)

We'll smoke for 30 minutes at 160° F so set your timer.
(http://i813.photobucket.com/albums/zz53/63KevinG/Bradley%20Sausage/Sausage%20Making%20Instructions/SettingTimerfor30minutes.jpg)

Rotate the sausage racks about every hour - front to back and top to bottom. Don't forget about the hot temperature probes in the sausage.
(http://i813.photobucket.com/albums/zz53/63KevinG/Bradley%20Sausage/Sausage%20Making%20Instructions/SmokedSausageReadytoRotate.jpg)

The timer makes rotation and temperature adjustments easy.
(http://i813.photobucket.com/albums/zz53/63KevinG/Bradley%20Sausage/Sausage%20Making%20Instructions/SettingMaverickTimer.jpg)

When the bisquettes have all been used up, it's a good idea to pull out the water pan, empty it, fill it with hot water, and replace it back in the smoker during one of your rotation cycles.

Our last step is to set the temp to 180° F
(http://i813.photobucket.com/albums/zz53/63KevinG/Bradley%20Sausage/Sausage%20Making%20Instructions/SettingOvenTempto180.jpg)

Our final IT of 156° F has been reached and here is the money - ready to eat sausage. Look closely and you can see it didn't fat out.
(http://i813.photobucket.com/albums/zz53/63KevinG/Bradley%20Sausage/Sausage%20Making%20Instructions/Money.jpg)

If you're not going to eat it right away, go ahead and put the sausage in an ice bath immediately to cool the temp down and lock in the moisture.
(http://i813.photobucket.com/albums/zz53/63KevinG/Bradley%20Sausage/Sausage%20Making%20Instructions/IceBath.jpg)

Once the sausage has cooled, dry it off.
(http://i813.photobucket.com/albums/zz53/63KevinG/Bradley%20Sausage/Sausage%20Making%20Instructions/DryingAfterCoolDown.jpg)

Wrap the sausage in some type of plastic or saran wrap. The goal is to minimize the amount of air that surrounds the sausage. If you have a vacuum sealer you could vacuum seal them now then label with type of sausage, date, and freeze them like that alone otherwise continue as below.
(http://i813.photobucket.com/albums/zz53/63KevinG/Bradley%20Sausage/Sausage%20Making%20Instructions/WrappedinSaranWrap.jpg)

Place the wrapped  sausage on some butcher paper.
(http://i813.photobucket.com/albums/zz53/63KevinG/Bradley%20Sausage/Sausage%20Making%20Instructions/ButcherPaperUnder.jpg)

Fold the paper over and tape the first seam up.
(http://i813.photobucket.com/albums/zz53/63KevinG/Bradley%20Sausage/Sausage%20Making%20Instructions/Firsttapestrip.jpg)

Wrap it like a Christmas present and seal the edges.
(http://i813.photobucket.com/albums/zz53/63KevinG/Bradley%20Sausage/Sausage%20Making%20Instructions/FoldandTape.jpg)

It's sometimes best to repeat with another wrapping of butcher paper for long term storage. Short term is OK just as above.

Now label the package with its contents and date, I like to put the size on there too so I know if it's a bunch of small pieces (just for me), medium, or a large (family size). Knowing the size means I don't have to open the package up before thawing to see how big it is.
(http://i813.photobucket.com/albums/zz53/63KevinG/Bradley%20Sausage/Sausage%20Making%20Instructions/WrappedAndLabledSausage.jpg)

Put it in the freezer and you're done. Always try to stack your sausages so the air can pass completely around them so they freeze quicker.

Don't forget to turn off your smoker and generator if it's still on and clean it, the racks and trays.

All the above information has been for smoked sausage, if you're making fresh you'll need to eliminate the cure and cook the sausage at much higher temperatures. Dried sausage is another topic altogether.

Hope you've enjoyed making your first batch of sausage!
Title: Re: Sausage Making A toZ
Post by: classicrockgriller on December 22, 2010, 06:32:00 pm
Nice Job Kevin!
Title: Re: Sausage Making A to Z
Post by: SouthernSmoked on December 22, 2010, 06:36:10 pm
Great Post KevinG, I felt like I was there helping!

Awesome!!
Title: Re: Sausage Making A to Z
Post by: NePaSmoKer on December 22, 2010, 07:47:10 pm
Very nice tutorial Kevin  ;D

And like Kevin said, Its not that hard to make sausage.

KISS  ;D

Its not Einstein like stuff.
Title: Re: Sausage Making A to Z
Post by: Bavind on December 22, 2010, 07:50:32 pm
Nice job. I was like everyone else, scared of makeing sausage, until I started making it. Now it easy and I make some almost every weekend and I have friends asking for some all the time.
Title: Re: Sausage Making A to Z
Post by: classicrockgriller on December 22, 2010, 07:52:26 pm
I waited a YEAR before I tried it and am now mad at myself for wasting that year.
Title: Re: Sausage Making A to Z
Post by: NePaSmoKer on December 22, 2010, 07:58:51 pm
I waited a YEAR before I tried it and am not mad at myself for wasting that year.

Not wasted my friend. Your doing some fine sausage.
Title: Re: Sausage Making A to Z
Post by: Tenpoint5 on December 22, 2010, 08:39:54 pm
Well Done Kevin. These are the posts that really help our new friends on the forum and the ones that just stop by for a visit.
Title: Re: Sausage Making A to Z
Post by: Keymaster on December 23, 2010, 02:21:47 am
You did an outstanding Job on this tutorial KevinG !!!!
Title: Re: Sausage Making A to Z
Post by: deb415611 on December 23, 2010, 03:00:34 am
Very nice Kevin.   
Title: Re: Sausage Making A to Z
Post by: Sailor on December 23, 2010, 04:06:18 am
Kevin, You said it all.   Very nice write up.
Title: Re: Sausage Making A to Z
Post by: kinyo on December 23, 2010, 04:28:43 am
Nicely Done Kevin, great information!
Title: Re: Sausage Making A to Z
Post by: mow_delon on December 23, 2010, 08:16:07 am
Wonderful!  I love how helpful everyone on this forum is!  Anyone should be able to do this by following your guide!  This should be tutorial should be put on the recipe site.
Title: Re: Sausage Making A to Z
Post by: smoker pete on December 23, 2010, 08:39:56 am
Thanks for the great information Kevin.  My grinder & stuffer are still boxed but after viewing your tutorial I'm ready to start making some sausages  ;D ;D
Title: Re: Sausage Making A to Z
Post by: TestRocket on December 23, 2010, 09:10:31 am
After reading this I had to go look in my freezer to see we did this together. Great job and my freezer was empty of sausage! 
Title: Re: Sausage Making A to Z
Post by: watchdog56 on December 23, 2010, 09:47:26 am
Nice post. Once you start making your sausage and find a nice recipe you won't be able to make enough. I try to find recipe's from scratch instead of buying a kit.
Title: Re: Sausage Making A to Z
Post by: Caribou on December 23, 2010, 12:04:34 pm
Great sausage making manifesto ;)
Thanks for taking the time to make it for all of us.
Carolyn
Title: Re: Sausage Making A to Z
Post by: jiggerjams on December 23, 2010, 12:05:44 pm
Thanks for the pictorial Kevin. I will be referencing this when I begin the sausage voyage. Great tip on how to deal with a blow out too.

JJ
Title: Re: Sausage Making A to Z
Post by: Alberta Boy on December 23, 2010, 04:39:56 pm
Good job Thanks  :)
I wish I knew about this site 17hrs ago   :(
I just put some Hi Mountain Polish sausage in my Bradley 40minutes ago, hopefully it works ok. The only step I really missed was the casing tap/flushing. I just soaked them for an hour in warm water then proceeded with making 10lbs of sausage.
This was my 1st batch ever so I can learn from it.
Anyways Kevin, Thank-You very much for that great step by step instruction. Top Notch!!!
Title: Re: Sausage Making A to Z
Post by: NePaSmoKer on December 24, 2010, 07:41:17 am
Habs

This is recipe site material.
Title: Re: Sausage Making A to Z
Post by: Sailor on December 24, 2010, 08:05:57 am
Habs

This is recipe site material.
I agree or at the least make this a sticky in this topic.
Title: Re: Sausage Making A to Z
Post by: Habanero Smoker on December 24, 2010, 01:34:45 pm
I agree. I haven't fully read it, but it looks very well done. I will start working on it after the New Years.
Title: Re: Sausage Making A to Z
Post by: Scottie's Gourmet Meats on December 24, 2010, 10:20:14 pm
Extremely instructive (is that really a word?) Anyway, great job and those look wonderful!

Scottie
Title: Re: Sausage Making A to Z
Post by: KevinG on January 25, 2011, 07:25:35 pm
Ok, for those of you who wanted this back, it's up again. Let me know if I missed something, or if you think I should change something in it.

See you in the funny papers  ;D
Title: Re: Sausage Making A to Z
Post by: NePaSmoKer on January 25, 2011, 07:41:51 pm
Ok, for those of you who wanted this back, it's up again. Let me know if I missed something, or if you think I should change something in it.

See you in the funny papers  ;D

Sonny is evil sausage maker  :D
Title: Re: Sausage Making A to Z
Post by: classicrockgriller on January 25, 2011, 08:38:25 pm
KevinG, Thanks for putting this back up!

It has been requested by alot of people.

Nice of you to do it.

Thanks again!
Title: Re: Sausage Making A to Z
Post by: jiggerjams on January 26, 2011, 08:56:59 am
Thanks Kevin.

This post is valuable to me.

JJ
Title: Re: Sausage Making A to Z
Post by: mjdeez on January 26, 2011, 02:09:50 pm
Thanks, this is great.

I bought a hank of casings in brine, the kind that supposedly is only good for a month or so.  I had thought I'd be getting a pack of dry salted casings where I could put the unused portion back in salt. ... So are these casings good for 1 month from when you get them, or one month when you crack open the seal on the bag?

Thanks.
Title: Re: Sausage Making A to Z
Post by: KevinG on January 26, 2011, 06:17:59 pm
I always use salted and not brined casings, but from what I've seen they usually are good for 3-4 months, I've even found one that claims 6 months. If you need to keep them longer I recommend the salted ones.
Title: Re: Sausage Making A to Z
Post by: McSmokin on February 18, 2011, 11:28:34 am
That was a great right up, do you flip the sausage at any point during smoking?
Title: Re: Sausage Making A to Z
Post by: KevinG on February 19, 2011, 10:02:50 am
That was a great right up, do you flip the sausage at any point during smoking?

You can if you want, but it's not necessary. It would be kind of hard to do anyhow with the racks and the sausage both being hot, you'd need some tongs I guess, but you still have to make sure the sausage doesn't touch itself or you will get uneven smoke coloring. The sausage cooks evenly just fine with front to back and top to bottom rotation.
Title: Re: Sausage Making A to Z
Post by: mjdeez on March 01, 2011, 06:46:31 pm
I always use salted and not brined casings, but from what I've seen they usually are good for 3-4 months, I've even found one that claims 6 months. If you need to keep them longer I recommend the salted ones.

For what it's worth, just in case anyone else is wondering about this, I found this on Allied Kenco's site. The hank I bought from them is a DeWied ez pre flushed brine soaked hank, and AK says it's good for "up to 6 months to 1 year".  From what I've read they don't really go bad so much as start to develop holes.

I hope no one minds me posting such a long post (copy / pasting from AK) but this is probably as good of a place as any to paste it because Kevin has posted a great tutorial / reference, so here's a little more...

From AK's site:
http://www.alliedkenco.com/catalog/popup_text.php/fld/howto/tbl/howtos/key/17 (http://www.alliedkenco.com/catalog/popup_text.php/fld/howto/tbl/howtos/key/17)

FAQuestions About Natural Casings:

How do you soak out casings and for how long

Hog Casings

    Salted Casings: - For best results soak over night in cooler in water that starts out at 90º F (32.2ºC).

        The fast soak: If in a hurry, follow these instructions but understand that you may not get maximum expansion capacity from the casing. Rushing the soaking process can result in the casing being sticky and they may not slide easily from the horn. This can result in breakage and sausage that is irregular in diameter or too small.
        Rinse salt from casings
        Soak in fresh water at 70º F (21.11ºC) for 1 hour
        Soak in fresh water at 90º F (32.2ºC) for 1 hour
        Place in fresh warm water 90º F (32.2ºC) at the stuffing table

        Pre-flushed Vac-Pack: - Soak in fresh water at 90º F (32.2ºC) for 30 minutes
        Place in fresh warm water at the stuffing table

Beef Rounds: - Soak overnight in cold water.
Soak in warm water 90-100ºF (32.2ºC - 37.77ºC) for 30 minutes
Place in fresh warm water at the stuffing table

Sheep Casings: - Soak in fresh water at 85-90º F (29.44ºC - 32.2ºC) for 30 minutes
Place in fresh warm water at the stuffing table.

 How long do you smoke sausage - The length of your smoke cycle becomes part of your sausage formulation. Your smoke cycle depends on the type of smokehouse you have and the type of product you are smoking. Contact your smokehouse supplier. Colored (Smoke Color )casings can help shorten your smoke cycle to increase smokehouse productivity.

How do you keep unused casings - Cover unused casings in brine solution or granulated salt and store in cooler at 40º F(4.44ºC) or less but do not freeze.

How tight should the sausage be stuffed - How tight you stuff sausage casings depends on the type of sausage and how it is to be linked.
For natural casings: When making a rope sausage, without linking, stuff to slightly less than the maximum expansion of the casings. If linking by machine, stuff 3-4 mm below the maximum expansion of the casing. Consult the instructions for the linker or your linker supplier because there can be significant differences in equipment. If linking by hand stuff 4-5 mm below the maximum expansion of the casing. Hand linking can put uneven stress on the casing. By under stuffing, you can reduce breakage during linking. Check the firmness of the link and adjust the stuffing pressure.

What is the shelf life of natural casings - Salt: 1 year or more
Preflushed in Vacuum Pack: 6 months to one year.

What is the best way to store natural casings - Store in the cooler at 40Fº (4.44ºC) or less in brine or well salted. NEVER freeze casings.

What is the most popular size casing for a fresh and smoked sausage? - There are no standards dictating the size casing to be used for a particular sausage. The size casing you use for sausage should depend on what you want your sausage to look like. The specification of the packaging and above all, your preference will influence the casing size . How many links do you want to make up a pound? How long must the links be for the packaging to be used? Traditionally, smaller sizes are used for fresh sausage and larger sizes for smoked sausage.

My casings smell bad; are they still good - Usually Yes. When your natural casings first arrive there may be some gas build up in the container, especially in hot weather. This can smell pretty strong. Kind of like a crowded room of bean farmers after a bean banquet. They are still good people though

What can I do to knock out the bad smell in my casings? - Usually all it needs is airing out. Leave the container open in the cooler for a while. Or, take casings out of the container and air them out. If it is really bad, rinse casings in fresh water, re-soak in brine and the smell will usually dissipate.
Putting baking soda in your soak water may also help.

What can I do to improve the bite on the casings - Cooking a sausage can toughen any casing. To maximize the tender bite of a casing, cook with moisture. Prick sausage before grilling.
Some casings are tougher because of their origin. They are usually cheap. The tough ones are usually thick and opaque. Smoke cycles can also affect the bite of a casing. Humidity during the smoke cycle is very important to maximize a tender eating experience. Consult your smoke house supplier about the best smoke cycle for the most tender bite.

What casing put ups do you offer

    Salted, dry salted for longest preservation. Requires lengthy soaking before use.
    Preflushed Vacuum Pack, casings are preserved in salt brine and packed in a vacuum pouch. Ready to use after rinsing off brine. Perfect for the average sausage manufacturer.

What is the length of a bundle or hank of casings - The traditional hank or bundle of hog or sheep casing was 100 yards. However, today there is no standard length. Some suppliers will base the length of the casing bundle on the price a customer demands. Now there are some casings like DeWied Processor Packs that will make about 100 pounds (45.3kg) of sausage no matter what size you use. That’s important for planning batch requirements and costing.

How many strands should a bundle have - The number of strands in a bundle depends on how uniform the diameter of the sausage must be and how long the individual strands of casing must be. The fewer strands and the longer they are, the less uniform the casings will be. In general, a hog casing will have 14-18 strands and a sheep casing will have 12-14 strands.

Why are the casings tough after cooking fresh sausage - Sausage was cooked in a pan too hot and too quickly.
Casings were not soaked long enough.
Origin of casing.
Sausage was under stuffed

How can I make my casings tenderer - Soak casings longer
Add lemon juice or pineapple juice to the soak water.
Use proper moisture levels during smoke cycle.

What is the webby looking spot on my casings - This is a patch of peyer (Pie-air) which is scarring resulting from the cleaning process and the removal of lymph nodes. All natural casings will have some scarring.

Why do my colored casings get dark streaks when I smoke them - Dry cycle was too short
Showering with water containing chlorine or high mineral levels.

What is the difference between hand pulled and knife cut casings - North American hand pulled casings do not have threads of connective tissue on the outside (Called whiskers). They are delicate and usually have shorter strands than knife cut. They may have more holes or weak spots. Knife cut casings have the small threads of connective tissue (Whiskers). They have an extra membrane for strength. Their strands are usually longer and have fewer holes. The threads of connective tissue on knife cut casings will melt off on smoked or cooked sausage.
Title: Re: Sausage Making A to Z
Post by: just a smokin on March 14, 2012, 06:06:23 am

      Hello there i must say that really looks good ,  8) i just saw something else i wanted to go and ask about from  here with  your pictures.Do you really have two bricks in your smoker , would'nt just the bottom one be good enough? i mean i do understand the brick being covered in tinfoil and such however,would''nt the top brick ( on top of the drip tray)/cutoff some of the smoke flow?

  thanks inadvance
Title: Re: Sausage Making A to Z
Post by: KevinG on March 19, 2012, 06:47:18 am

      Hello there i must say that really looks good ,  8) i just saw something else i wanted to go and ask about from  here with  your pictures.Do you really have two bricks in your smoker , would'nt just the bottom one be good enough? i mean i do understand the brick being covered in tinfoil and such however,would''nt the top brick ( on top of the drip tray)/cutoff some of the smoke flow?

  thanks inadvance

Many people don't use bricks at all, it will just extend the time a little. I haven't had any problems with the smoke flow, the chamber is always pretty smokey when I open the door.
Title: Re: Sausage Making A to Z
Post by: wyogoob on August 17, 2012, 08:05:01 am
Wow, great tutorial.
Title: Re: Sausage Making A to Z
Post by: Bambooman36 on February 17, 2013, 12:58:19 am
awsome job those cabelas grinders are bomb aswell :)
Title: Re: Sausage Making A to Z
Post by: destrouk on April 16, 2013, 07:26:45 am
well that is all kinds of awesome in there !!!!!
Title: Re: Sausage Making A to Z
Post by: Mike53959 on July 09, 2013, 10:32:30 am
Excellent post. I have the same grinder you do, that thing is one of the best investments I ever made.
Title: Re: Sausage Making A to Z
Post by: SconnieBoys on March 14, 2014, 02:58:15 pm
Great tutorial.  I'm in the market for a new smoker and am nearly set on the 6 rack digital.  Do you find yourself hanging much sausage in the 6 rack or do you usually do the large coils?
Thanks
Title: Re: Sausage Making A to Z
Post by: Tenpoint5 on March 14, 2014, 10:50:45 pm
Great tutorial.  I'm in the market for a new smoker and am nearly set on the 6 rack digital.  Do you find yourself hanging much sausage in the 6 rack or do you usually do the large coils?
Thanks

I hang Sausage in both of my 6 racks all the time. Occasionally I do the coils
Title: Re: Sausage Making A to Z
Post by: KevinG on March 16, 2014, 07:21:47 am
Great tutorial.  I'm in the market for a new smoker and am nearly set on the 6 rack digital.  Do you find yourself hanging much sausage in the 6 rack or do you usually do the large coils?
Thanks

I usually do the coils, to me it cooks more evenly because I can rotate the racks, but a lot of people prefer to hang them.
Title: Re: Sausage Making A to Z
Post by: kayes on April 25, 2014, 08:37:47 pm
Great tutorial! Thanks!
Title: Re: Sausage Making A to Z
Post by: c_becker11 on October 30, 2014, 08:24:55 am
I got a little confused over the time frame from when he starts the warm up stage of the sausage. It says "After the hour, we change the oven temp to 160° F." then it adds "We'll smoke for 30 minutes at 160° F so set your timer."

So is this supposed to be the last part of the smoking process...ie your last bisquette? Thanks...
Title: Re: Sausage Making A to Z
Post by: tskeeter on October 30, 2014, 09:26:17 am
What Kevin is doing is this:

Let the sausage set at room temperature for 1 hour to take the chill off the meat.  Use this time to preheat the smoker.

Put the sausage in the preheated smoker for 1 hour at 120F to dry the surface of the sausage.  (Smoke doesn't stick well to wet sausage.)

Raise the temperature set point to 160F and begin introducing smoke.  Total smoke time is 2 hours 40 minutes at a couple of different temperatures.

After 30 minutes, raise the temperature set point to 180F.  Continue to introduce smoke for the remainder of the smoking period.

After smoking is complete, continue cooking the sausage until the internal temperature is 156F.

Title: Re: Sausage Making A to Z
Post by: c_becker11 on November 01, 2014, 11:36:38 am
What Kevin is doing is this:

Let the sausage set at room temperature for 1 hour to take the chill off the meat.  Use this time to preheat the smoker.

Put the sausage in the preheated smoker for 1 hour at 120F to dry the surface of the sausage.  (Smoke doesn't stick well to wet sausage.)

Raise the temperature set point to 160F and begin introducing smoke.  Total smoke time is 2 hours 40 minutes at a couple of different temperatures.

After 30 minutes, raise the temperature set point to 180F.  Continue to introduce smoke for the remainder of the smoking period.

After smoking is complete, continue cooking the sausage until the internal temperature is 156F.


Thanks tskeeter!

Title: Re: Sausage Making A to Z
Post by: Sniper-T on October 31, 2015, 03:51:48 pm
truly epic post and worthy of a bump.  imo.  how long do you folks store left over natural casings?
Title: Re: Sausage Making A to Z
Post by: tskeeter on October 31, 2015, 10:58:08 pm
Sniper, info from Syracuse Casing says you can store for six months.  If you have soaked the casing, you need to re-salt before storing.